Do Docs Skirt Risks of Routine Cancer Screening?

“Do Docs Skirt Risks of Routine Cancer Screening?” Med Page Today.

Results of a small online survey suggested that physicians may not be conveying the risks of overdiagnosis or overtreatment when recommending routine cancer screening for patients. A total of 91.5% of 317 men and women who took part in an online poll said they were not counseled by their physician regarding the potential harm associated with routine cancer screening, according to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Among patients who said they had been told of the risks, all but one had been given risk estimates that were either over or under what is reported in the current literature, the researchers reported in a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine. “Many doctors are unaware of the hazards associated with screening and even when they are fully aware, they might find it difficult to explain to patients how a test can be injurious.”

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